'Ageing in Scotland: Justice, Injustice & Protection'

How can we continue to make Scotland a just and safe place for older people?

4th September 2019     Hilton Hotel (William Street), Glasgow, G3 8HT

Approx. 10.15 - 4.00pm

Partner sponsors:



Book your place here

At only £49 per delegate in an amazing venue, and invaluable opportunities for networking - this is an event you can't afford to miss!

Conference theme

Action on Elder Abuse wants to make the abuse of older people as socially unacceptable as child or animal abuse. We believe more needs to be done to raise awareness of the realities of the harm, abuse and exploitation of older people, and crucially, to ensure our response to the problem is given the priority it deserves. While good progress has been made in Scotland, we want to ensure that all agencies with a responsibility towards older people work together to ensure they are afforded the same respect, support and protection as other groups.

This year's conference will therefore consider:

  • society's perception of older people in modern Scotland, and the ways in which support structures reflect the unique dynamics of older age in relation to harm, abuse and exploitation
  • the effectiveness of the criminal justice system and other support frameworks in responding to elder abuse, and supporting older people to access justice
  • how best to empower those older people who find it difficult to speak up. 

Please click here for our current programme 

Conference contributors


    Picture of Trustee  Glenda Watt

Ronnie Barnes (Vice Chair of Action on Elder Abuse)

Glenda Watt OBE (Trustee, Action on Elder Abuse)


Humza Yousaf MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Justice

Keynote address

Mr Yousaf will highlight the Scottish Government's commitment to supporting older people throughout the criminal justice process, and outline recent developments in relation to proposals for tackling hate crime and elder abuse. 

Gerard Hart

Director of Policy & Protection, Disclosure Scotland

Gerard will provide an overview of the new Disclosure (Scotland) Bill, which proposes key changes to the legislation underpinning the Protection of Vulnerable Groups and the Disclosure of Criminal Information.  The Bill has been designed to deliver a balance between the twin objectives of delivering a fairer, less invasive, disclosure regime, whilst also strengthening the ability to protect the most vulnerable in society. 

Steven Fitzpatrick

A personal perspective on elder abuse

Steven is a passionate advocate for tackling elder abuse, and will tell his ongoing story of his fight for justice for his elderly father.  He will highlight how abuse of power of attorney resulted in Steven's father being unable to see much of his family, his battle to put things rights, and his recommendations for change. 

Sandra McDonald

Director, Ex-PG 

Regard or Disregard, that is the question?

How much regard do you have to take of an attorney, or guardian; can you disregard their instruction? Former Public Guardian Sandra McDonald will give us the legal position on this regular, and challenging, dilemma. 

Tony Stowell

Why are older people not seen as worthy of protection?

Family man, professional model and friend of the stars, Tony will consider whether older people are seen as undeserving of care and protection in modern society, and how we can challenge this.  He'll discuss his campaign for compulsory CCTV in all care homes, and how one man can challenge the system to protect his own family and thousands of older people across the country. 

Interesting fact about Tony: he turned down the opportunity to be a member of huge pop group Take That!


Workshop A:

Paul Greenwood (workshop via video-link)

Retired Deputy District Attorney, San Diego

British-born Paul, will provide a unique comparison of criminal law in Britain and California, highlighting the strengths of the Californian legal framework, where elder abuse is specifically criminalised. Practising as a solicitor in the UK for 13 years, and 22 years prosecuting serious criminal elder abuse cases in California, Paul will present his compelling argument for the UK adopting a criminal elder abuse statute. 


Workshop B:

Kathryn Mackay & Dr Fiona Sherwood-Johnson 

Stirling University

Kathryn and Fiona will present the findings of their recent research into older people's perceptions of safety and vulnerability; and consider the implications of their findings for health and social care practitioners. 


Workshop C:

Will Massaro-Mallinson 

CEO, EARS Independent Advocacy

Will will consider the role of independent advocacy in enabling and supporting older people. Question; Is it time for statutory duties to include referrals to independent advocacy for older people who are subject to  adult support and protection and adults with incapacity processes?  

Workshop D:

Law Society of Scotland

Gillian Mawdsley, Law Society of Scotland

'How should the Scottish legal system protect older people?'

Gillian will consider various aspects of Scots law in relation to the support and protection of older people, including new proposals relating to statutory aggravations on the basis of age-related hostility and other considerations related to age vulnerability. She will also provide an overview of the Law Society's work, and particular work strands relating to older people. 

Workshop E:

Professor Lynn Jamieson & Pearse McCusker

Centre for Research on Families & Relationships / University of Edinburgh

This workshop will examine the dynamics of families and relationships in relationship to age, ageing and elder abuse. We will consider elder abuse as a societal issue, and seek your input on current issues and developments to inform our work in this area


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Who is the conference relevant for?

Front-line staff and managers in the following sectors:

  • local authorities: adult support and protection, older people's services, domestic abuse, self-directed support, assessment teams
  • criminal justice social work services
  • public, private and voluntary care sector
  • health and social care practitioners
  • regulators and government
  • Police Scotland and criminal justice practitioners
  • housing
  • third sector organisations
  • training providers
  • academics

Win an exciting prize while you're there!

We'll also be hosting a fundraising auction and raffle to raise vital funds for Action on Elder Abuse. You can either submit a 'sealed bid' now, or make your bid at the conference. We've got a range of prizes already confirmed, including:

  • corporate hospitality for 2 people at any Ross County FC or Inverness FC football game + 2 free wills (courtesy of McEwan Fraser Legal)
  • afternoon tea for 2 people at the Hilton
  • 2 family care packs: a will, a power of attorney, and an advance directive (courtesy of Solicitors for Older People Scotland)
  • aviator Rayban sunglasses (courtesy of CR Smith)
  • two family tickets for a 2019 Motorsport Event at Knockhill Racing Circuit
  • a watercolour painting from Doris Barton McIntyre

Make your sealed bid now - find out more here.

We'll also be offering the following as raffle prizes:

  • 5 fresh flower arrangements (courtesy of Flowerettes in Limekilns)
  • various smaller prizes

Would you like to become a conference sponsor or exhibitor?

There's still time!

£250 for sponsorship or £175 for an exhibition stall for voluntary sector agencies

£400 for sponsorship or £280 for an exhibition stall for public sector agencies

£500 sponsorship or £350 for an exhibition stall for private sector agencies

Find out more here.

Book your place here

Further information:

Contact Brian Rapley or Lesley Carcary on 07496 323 801 or 0749 666 3815, or email [email protected]